Summer is over, you've taken those last few excursions out on the water, and it's time to store your boat for the winter. But even though it's off-season for boating, there's still plenty to do to make sure your boat is shipshape for the next season.
It's important to store your boat properly so it will be protected from the elements and will remain in good condition while sitting inactive. However, proper storage is only one way to take care of your boat in the winter.
As you head into off-season, here are five things you can do to care for your boat and prepare for next year:
1. Inspect & Clean
One of the first things you want to do is inspect your boat for any damage that has occurred and any repairs that will need to be made. Are there any tiny problems or annoyances that you've been putting off tending to, or do you notice any new ones? Don't leave them to sit and get worse over the winter months — get them fixed now, and save time and money in the long run.
As you inspect for damage or other issues, take the time to clean your boat thoroughly, inside and out. Unload, inspect, and clean everything you've kept on board. You'll also want to remove the batteries and try to eliminate as much moisture as possible before storing the boat.
2. Perform Maintenance
Off-season is a great time to make sure your boat is up to date on general maintenance needs. Change the engine oil and filter, and check that everything is in working order.
Not sure where to start with performing your own maintenance? Check out our post for basic boat maintenance.
3. Winterize and Store Your Boat
When you store your boat for the winter, you want to make sure you do it properly to keep it from developing any mold, rust, or other damages during the winter season. That means before you put the cover on, you'll need to winterize the boat, so it's ready to withstand the cold and months of less activity.